The U.N. – “Greater than great?”
Tuesday November 23rd 2004,
Filed under: Albums,Reviews
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A lot of people seem to be sleeping on this group. Some high-brow lyric fiends might consider the U.N. to be just more of the same old gun-toting, hoodlum-style rap (which is never a bad thing anyway), but don’t get put off by boring cuts like "Russian Hat Wear" (aka the "Money" remix). Sure, Dino Brave sounds a lot like forgotten Wu-Tanger U-God, but these four emcee’s seemlessly blend righteous lessons with ignorant tough talk in the most convincing display since Divine Force‘s Sir Ibu was in his prime. Rock Marciano and Laku get the most burn, but Mike Raw and Dino earn their keep more often than not.

After the enthusiastic reception it received XXL‘s "Chairman’s Choice" (twice) and Grand Slam magazine, I knew that Rock Marciano’s "Game Of Death" (the b-side to the U.N.’s "D.O.A" 12") was worth tracking down. When I finally got a copy, I was immediately hooked. Pete Rock laced an unorthodox but completely addictive backdrop to Rock Marciano’s equally unique raps. To put it bluntly, this shit is offical! Now that I’ve gotten my hands on the complete album, it’s obvious that these Strong Island troopers are just warming up.

UN or U Out (456 Entertainment), corny title aside, contains some of the hardest drums, rawest loops and dopest flows this side of 1994. Not every track wins, but cuts like "Mind Blowin’", "Golden Grail" and "The Avenue" are worth the price of admission alone. Add on the previously released Large Pro gem "What They Want" and the remake of "Game of Death" featuring the whole team on some time to build type-shit, and you’re left with some classic hardcore rap. The remainder of the tracks are still decent, but to truly appreciate the U.N. I advise you track down the white label versions of the original, full-length recording of "The Art", a lost Pete Rock / Rock Marcy team up called "Long Time Coming" and their Reef-produced contribution to Eastern Conference All-Stars 4, "It’s Over". (I’m assuming you’re already familiar with their three contributions to the Petesrumentals album, namely the jaw-dropping "Give It To Y’All", "Nothin’ Lesser" and "Cake"). Rock Marciano’s also got a solo CD out, although it’s more of a mixtape than an official album.

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5 Comments so far
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is there any pmoney production on that album or is it all pete rock ?

Comment by Sunfire 02.05.05 @

P Money does a vocal interlude, but no beats on it. Most of the LP is produced by the UN. Pete Rock does a couple of songs and Large Pro does one as well.

Comment by Robbie 02.10.05 @

Album was dope for the summer-time, was refreshing to here some vintage type shit with all of the bad shit that was on the radio this summer. I just ordered the Rock Marc mixtape off Sandbox hopefully its good

Comment by AirAlex 02.16.05 @

thanks for linking me. much respect. and im not gonna get into how, but ive been involved with petes albums since petestrumentals, and i would say surviving the elements has some of the strongest beats hes created since the early 90s [not that he doesnt deliver some gems on each of his outputs]. if he would have just cut each track about 2 minutes it would have been in severe rotation, but as it is i have to start skipping midway through the album.

anyway, keep it heated and listen out for some jay dee beats thats been making the rounds about 3 or for months now. they are killing me these days.

Comment by jkg 05.30.05 @

I still love this album and was wondering where the hell they went and Robbie do you have the joints that didn’t make the album please?, or the ones after the album?.


Comment by Jaz 11.24.06 @

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